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Human Head on the Wall

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Sometimes it is not enough to merely stalk and kill your targets. Sometimes you want to have a permanent memento. So what better way to preserve the moment than to decapitate your victim, flense the skin off the head, preserve it, re-affix it to the skull, mount it on a plaque and hang it on your den wall?

A favourite pastime of Serial Killers and Egomaniac Hunters, though it also tends to happen to them as a form of Laser-Guided Karma.

Includes intelligent non-humans in sci-fi/fantasy works.

A Sub-Trope of Off with His Head!, Dead Guy on Display, Taxidermy Is Creepy and Creepy Souvenir. If the victim was a Worthy Opponent, then you also have a Battle Trophy. Compare Decapitation Presentation, which is usually a bit more informal; and Shrunken Head, which is the primitive tribal equivalent of this trope.



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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the Teen Titans relaunch, Deathstroke is possessed by his son Jericho, who murders Slade's loyal butler Wintergreen and mounts his head on a wall.
  • In Sin City, serial killer Kevin mounted the severed heads of six of the prostitutes he's murdered and eaten on plaques and hung them on the wall. This may have been inspired by the already creepy as hell "Stuffed" Girl's Heads ad.
  • A variant occurs in the Vault of Horror story "Hook, Line, and Stinker!" where the victim is not a hunter but a fisherman—or so he says. When he claims to be out fishing, he's actually out cheating on his fiancee, and when she finds out she kills him and mounts his entire body on a plaque on the wall like a fishing trophy.
  • This cover of Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday Edition #2 shows Sela with the head of The Krampus mounted on the wall behind her.
  • There's a rather famous piece of comic book artwork drawn by Brian Bolland featuring The Joker lounging in a chair in front of a trophy wall mounted with the decapitated heads of various DC heroes and villains, all of them painted white and their faces distorted into a smile like the Joker himself. It's even been parodied a bunch of times with other comic supervillains sitting in Joker's place.
  • A Marvel Universe villain takes the name Zodiac and kills every single member of a team by the same name before mounting their heads on his wall.
  • Hunted, the 2019 story event from Nick Spencer's Spider-Man has its opening issue with Kraven seated beneath a wall with multiple animal-themed heroes and villains mounted on walls like trophies.
  • During his run on Namor, John Byrne introduced a corporate villainess named Headhunter, who had the heads of former business execs mounted on her wall, and each head was able to talk and provide Headhunter with information about their corporations. In a twist, it's revealed that her victims were never beheaded; their bodies were tied up on the other side of her office wall, with the heads poking out of holes in her wall, in a hypnotic state so they would surrender any information she asked of them.

  • Infinity Crisis: In Powers and Marvels, the Mandarin mounts Trevor Slattery's head on a wall in punishment for impersonating him.

    Film - Animated 
  • In Cat City, Gatto, the cat mob boss, has mounted cat heads on his wall.

    Film - Live Action 

  • Discworld:
    • In The Fifth Elephant, this overlaps with What Measure Is a Non-Human? when Sam Vimes' group stays at a lodge in Uberwald and is horrified to find a mounted troll head. The troll in his squad is familiar enough with Fantastic Racism from humans that he simply remarks that he's glad things are better than they used to be — and shows them his grandmother's human Skull Cup as a reminder that it cut both ways.
    • Also in The Fifth Elephant, Vimes meets a local werewolf clan in their pack leader's castle, and notices there are empty nails and patches of paler plaster on the wall around them, suggesting several hunting trophies have been taken down so as not to impede the smooth flow of diplomacy. Later in the book, he learns about The Game, where werewolves hunt down humans.
  • A variation in Great Expectations: Jaggers has masks of the petrified faces of criminals that he represented but who were hanged decorating his office.
  • Steam Punk Egomaniac Hunter Lord Cockswain massacres the rare game of Venus in Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory. At the end of his illustrated journal, we see Cockswain's living room full of their mounted heads, including his alien Native Guide.
  • Vasquez Private Eye ends with Johnson mounting Martha's head on his bedroom wall.
  • One of the many ghastly customs of the Black family of dark wizards in Harry Potter was to have their house elves beheaded and their heads mounted like trophies once they'd become too old and sick to work. Kreacher's mother was among the victims of this practice.
  • Diogenes Club: In "Swellhead'', a corridor in the Elaborate Underground Base is lined with the mounted heads of Swellhead's enemies and those who have displeased him. Stacy is disturbed to discover when she returns to the base that Kydd's head has been added to it.
  • The Enemy. In the third book in the series, the Collector makes Olivia's severed head into the centrepiece for a macabre collection of body parts.
  • Wish and Bodkin find an entire room full of decapitated heads in The Wizards of Once.

    Live-Action TV 
  • CSI: "Leapin' Lizards". They found a missing woman's head mounted on the wall like a trophy animal. She was murdered by UFO believers who were convinced she was a Reptilian queen.
  • Night Gallery episode "Clean Kills and Other Trophies". When an evil trophy hunter forces his son to kill a deer, he is punished by African tribal gods. He is killed and his head is mounted on the trophy wall in his own house.
  • Get Smart. Maxwell Smart has an Oh, Crap! moment when the Villain of the Week is into Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, and has a plaque already set up for Max's head.
  • On Adam Ruins Everything, the "Economy" episode begins with a man who has several hunting trophies. Adam makes his appearance as a head mounted on the wall, and the Guest of the Week responds with...
    Hank: Did I kill a man?
  • Parodied in Raising Hope with a novelty Sabrina has on the wall in her house. It has the usual "plaque" part of a hunting trophy, only instead of a deer head, it has a pair of breasts wearing a coconut bra, and a button on the bottom which plays "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" and makes the breasts jiggle when pressed. Burt asks her if it's for sale, and she says no...but he somehow gets it anyway. All the men in town come by to watch it, until Virginia questions what kind of example this is setting for Hope, and Burt sees Hope holding her stacking cup toys to her chest and has an Imagine Spot of her at age 20 as a stripper dancing to a cover of "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts," and decides to get rid of it.
  • The fate of the Minotaur at the hands of the Custodians of the Chronology in an altered timeline in Legends of Tomorrow.


    Newspaper Comics 
  • One Dilbert strip had Dilbert and Dogbert visiting a guy who had a bunch of creepy hunting trophies on his wall, they leave when he gets to his (former) neighbors.

    Print Media 
  • One single panel cartoon by George Trosley shows a proud trophy hunter in his den, giving a tour to one of his friends. They stop in front of an ugly woman's head mounted on a wall plaque, and the hunter remarks, "Yeah, that's my ex-mother-in-law. Took six cartridges to bring that bitch down."

    Video Games 
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, Mort the gravedigger has four heads mounted on his wall, one of which is human — but don't worry, three of them are fake.
  • In A Cannibal In Concord, Albert has mounted several raider heads on his wall.

  • In S.S.D.D the head of one particularly unpopular former First Adviser of the Collective of Anarchist States is mounted in their capital building's rec hall. Brought up when a later First Adviser demands the head of whoever programmed the nuke they'd just accidentally launched.
    The Oracle: Well, you're in luck then.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Wet Painters", where Mr. Krabs hires SpongeBob and Patrick to paint his walls and threatens to cut off their butts and mount them over his fireplace if he finds even a drop of paint on something other than the walls. It turns out that even though Mr. Krabs said the paint was permanent, it actually comes off with saliva and he only lied about the paint being permanent to mess with the duo, who promptly leave incensed while Mr. Krabs undoes all the painting by spraying the walls with his spittle as he laughs hysterically.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson has a nightmare about Bart doing this to him (after a trip to the guillotine factory, which was the perfect place to shoot him) in the episode "Tennis the Menace."
    • One of the Halloween Specials features a story in which what seems to be the entire adult male population of Springfield is forced into a Deadly Game which involves Mr. Burns hunting them down and killing them. Their heads will be mounted on wall plaques at the Burns mansion.
  • Private Snafu: At the end of "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike", Malaria Mike has Snafu's head mounted on his wall above his fireplace.
  • In Jumanji, Omnicidal Maniac Van Pelt has mounted child heads in his hunting collection. And the African-looking masks are probably mounted Manjis, who are Ambiguously Human, too.
  • Total DramaRama: While trying to work out how to catch a worm in "Hic Hic Hooray", Owen has a an Imagine Spot where he bites a worm on the end of a fishing line and ends up mounted on the wall like a trophy fish.

    Real Life 


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